Governance is about the good management of an organisation to ensure it is well run, carrying out the work it was set up to do.

This involves making good use of its resources such as people and money, looking at how well it is doing now, planning for the future and being accountable for the organisaions actions and decisions. A well-managed organisation will have up to date documents such as a constitution, policies and procedures. The Governing Body (also known as a committee or Trustees) play a vital role by working together for the good of the organisation.

Here’s some useful tips to help with good governance.

  • Ensure that your governing documents are available at all meetings, are reviewed regularly and that every person on your committee has seen a copy and understands the wording.

  • Keep all important documents in one place (usually with the group’s secretary). If you manage a facility you could keep a copy of all documents in the hall for hirers and general public to view).

  • Make sure new trustees are appointed according to your governing document and that they fully understand their roles and responsibilities. The Charity Commission has a useful document which new Trustees can also read.

  • Record all meetings properly and minutes are sent out as soon as possible after the meeting – every trustee is responsible for all decisions even if they don’t attend a meeting.

  • Ensure you keep your annual reporting documents up to date. If your organisation is a registered charity, ensure all relevant documents are sent to the Charity Commission each year.

  • All charities must maintain accounting records as required by the Charities Act or the Companies Act 2006.

  • It is important to understand which pieces of legislation are relevant to your organisation, for example if you employ staff, you must adhere to employment regulations.

Good Governance Code

The Good Governance Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector is a code of governance written for voluntary and community organisations.  You can find out more at the good governance website.